Mercury Retrograde

Anthony Narváez
Asterastia Astrology
2 min readMar 19, 2024


Artwork by OpenAI DALL·E 3

We are unavoidably social, but also very alone in our independent journeys. No two people experience reality the same, but we do so together. This duality is reconciled while the planet Mercury moves through its cycles of retrograde motion, which occur three times every year.

Perfectly natural to human experience, it appears that after about 2 1/2 months of personal accountability and social awareness, we each wander off for a few weeks to explore our own private logical wilderness. This period is what’s known as the cycle’s pre-shadow.

During this time, choices are often made with less consideration of their social impact. Work could be completed without typical quality assurance. Things may be said carelessly that have greater consequence than expected. Essential routine tasks might be treated as optional.

Perhaps without knowing it, three times every year we each quietly rebel. The complexity of the social requirements placed on us reaches a threshold we can no longer navigate, so we continue on guided mostly by our personal intuition. We test the necessity of our constraints.

Just as we encounter our threshold for social complexity, society too has a limit for division that’s asserted after Mercury stations retrograde. We are reminded of the impact we have on our community, learn new ways to better navigate, and commit ourselves to reintegration.

The effects of our choices made from the wilderness are revealed, often in unpredictable and disruptive ways. We might experience interruptions in public services, or struggle in our personal relationships. We become more aware of the importance of our social connection.

After Mercury resumes direct motion, the acts of our rebellion fold into our collective story with social impact now accounted for and addressed. These cycles expand our duality, demonstrating how we are both self and other, alone and together. Mercury’s retrograde cycles are times for reunion.